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Winter Care Of Animals At The Off Grid Homestead

Many people have been asking about how we take care of the animals in winter. We make daily videos of our life out here at the off grid homestead but recently we have been busy with projects and have not shown the animals in a while.


People were threatening to unsubscribe to my YouTube channel if I did not show the animals soon. So I had to do an update on how they were doing. Many people were asking about how we care for the animals in winter. They wanted to know how we keep them warm. How we manage to keep their water from freezing. And more.


Well, first of all we live in a Northern climate and it gets cold out here in winter. The water freezes every day when its cold. It freezes many times through the day when its cold. During days above freezing we do not have a problem with the water for the animals. But on zub freezing days we have to swap out buckets of water for the animals many times per day.


Happy Homestead GoatsHappy Homestead Goats


We keep rotating out fresh water for the animals as it freezes. One bucket stays inside where it can thaw out while the fresh water goes out to the animals. When that freezes then we swap out again. This can go on up to four times per day when it is very cold.




The goats drink up to five gallons of water per day when they are giving milk. This is a lot of water to deal with. So we literally keep two five gallon buckets of water going all day. At night all the water comes inside to get warm again. This also helps becuase the winter nights are especially cold and the animals are sleeping anyway.


The chickens are tough animals and eat snow happily but we try to do the same thing with them. We swap out water for them as needed. At night their little bit of water is just left to freeze over and in the morning we dump it and give them fresh water. The chickens are filthy animals and their water must be refreshed all the time anyway. So we just keep dumping it out and adding fresh water as needed.


The goats have a sort of raised bed in their shelter. Goats are outdoor animals and do just fine in winter. But we made them a pallet wood barn and covered that with sheet metal to keep the wind out. The roof is a proper roof to keep the weather out as well. The front is mostly closed in so that we actually have to duck to get inside the goat shed when we enter.


Pallet wood goat barn for winter shelterPallet wood goat barn for winter shelter

We give the goats fresh straw for bedding as needed and keep it cleaned out. The old bedding goes into the compost pile to provide fertilizer for next year's garden.


The goats have fresh hay on demand 24/7. They are sloppy eaters but picky as well. They will not eat anything that has touched the ground. And they keep pushing their hay on the ground. So we take that hay and put it into the chicken coops as bedding and something to munch on. The chickens will eat hay as well.


Multiple chicken coops and roostsMultiple chicken coops and roosts


During summer the chickens have all kinds of food. But in winter they are fully dependent on us for food. We give them kitchen scraps daily plus their dry food. And when get get a good deal at the bakery we buy a 50 lb bag of old bread for the birds. They really love bread. Its like a treat for them.


We only feed our chickens the best that we can find at the animal feed store. No animal by pruducts and no industrial waste goes into our chicken feed. We figure that in a way we eat what they eat so they get good quality food.


Same with the goats. They only get the freshest water and high quality sweet feed. We give them sweet feed when milking them to keep them standing still for that time. They love the sweet feed. Again this is made of all natural ingredients with no by products, waste or fillers like you see on many industrial farms.


The chickens have plenty of shelter and at night you cannot find a single bird outside. They huddle together for warmth. You do not want a fully sealed off chicken coop or they will die. They are filthy and poop in their beds. This gives off ammonia and can kill the birds if thier shelter was sealed off tightly.


We also raise Silkie chickens and although it is said that they are weaker birds and cannot handle the cold as well, someone forgot to tell our birds. They are tough birds and are doing just fine. Our Silkie rooster would prefer to sleep in the trees in the open air if we allowed him to. The girls just huddle in with the other birds and are alive and well.


I get a lot of flack from animal lovers about how we do not care for our animals because they do not have heated or insulated shelters. But I think that most of those people do not realize that a sealed off shelter will kill the animals. They all poop in their own beds. Without fresh air flow at all times they will poison themselves.


Animals such as goats and chickens are farm animals. They are outdoor animals. They are built to take the winter weather. Give them shelter, food and fresh water and they will be fine.


You can see that out chickens are healthy and fat. Our goats are actually happy and smiling. Suffering animals would not look so good at all. You would be able to tell.


Off grid homestead chickens in winterOff grid homestead chickens in winter


So I hope this clears up the questions and complaints about our animals at the off grid homestead.


You can watch the video here: THEY LIVE ~ Winter Care Of Homestead Animals


Be warned though that there is some sarcasm in my voice due to the threats I was receiving.


While you are over there please subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.


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Troy Reid


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